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DeGowin, Elmer



  • Existence: 1937-1974


Dr. Elmer Louis DeGowin, a blood researcher and founder of the University of Iowa Hospital's blood bank in 1938, was born September 27, 1901, in Cheboygan, Michigan, a son of Frank Louis and Nora Dickes DeGowin. He married Laura Evelyn Meader on June 21, 1924, in Battle Creek, Michigan.   Dr. DeGowin obtained his B.A. degree in 1923 and his M.D. degree in 1928, both from the University of Michigan. He was an instructor there for two years before joining the UI faculty in 1932. In 1969 he was named an emeritus professor of medicine.   He founded one of the first blood banks in the U.S. in 1938, developed a solution to preserve whole blood, founded and managed the Central Fluid Laboratory, designed patient records, and directed the Thyroid Clinic. In 1949 he co-authored with Robert Hardin and John Alsever a pioneering text, Blood Transfusion (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1949). Another of his books, Bedside Diagnostic Examinations (New York: Macmillan, 1965), became a standard text in U.S. medical schools and has been widely translated.   He was awarded the American Medical Association's Gold Medal in 1939 for an exhibit at a national meeting in St. Louis on "Preservation of Blood." He was also named "Iowa Internist of the Year" in 1978 by the Iowa Clinical Society of Internal Medicine. He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary medical society; the American Society for Clinical Investigation; the Association of American Physicians; the National Research Council; the Central Society for Clinical Research; the American Society of Internal Medicine; and the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.   Dr. DeGowin died in Iowa City on August 31, 1980, at age 78.   (Portions of the biographical note are from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 2, 1980.   "

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Elmer DeGowin and the Elmer DeGowin Blood Center Papers

Identifier: RG99.0320

Founded the University of Iowa Hospital's blood bank in 1938, one of the nation's first. Co-author of the first modern text on Blood Transfusion (1949)

Dates: 1937 - 1974